It’s a Cincinnati Thing

“So, what school did you go to?”

Of course we all know where this is going. For the new in town, we all take the initiation and the bait. You answer, and then there is the follow-up question, “No, what high school?”

Truthfully, the question is a little off-putting to those that did not grow up here, especially since whatever answer you give to the second question elicits a response but little else. This discussion for me, since I grew up outside the region, is what I gather talking about the Red’s postseason last year was like. Yes, they did play a game that was after the regular season but it quickly was inconsequential.

Undoubtedly those who move here quickly come to appreciate the finer things that Cincinnati and the region has in abundance. We come to understand why our schools commonly come up in discussion, just like who the Bengals have coming up in the ranks or Votto’s slugging average. However, what I found that was interesting with all the discussion about schools was that we did not have a scorecard, like in sports, that was resolute. Schools and students’ performance, rather than sports, could arguably be considered the most profound bellwether of a community’s health.

We have set out to rank all our region’s high schools in this issue’s inaugural feature. Our goal was to be unbiased and to focus on the numbers. As was the case with our Rating the Burbs feature, this goal was to create a user-friendly guide for all to use and evaluate. With all rankings, we have to weigh certain data sets and come up with a statistical analysis. We know this isn’t the end-all be-all, but our hope is that it is only the beginning of the conversation.

Creating this feature was truly a team effort. We have to thank Bill Ferguson, Jr. for the data crunching, in which, like in our Rating the Burbs, he excels. I also would like to thank our whole edit and art design team for pitching in.

So please enjoy this issue, and feel free to let us know what you think of our Best Schools. We very much appreciate your input to create something that we hope can come back year after year. And for the winners, congratulations, you can now bask in your success. Know now that your parents have a quick conversation starter at dinner parties, even if they did not grow up here.